The Home Entry

Have you ever thought about what you do when you first arrive at someone’s home?  It’s doubtful that many do.  But, if we take a moment to consider this, then it seems logical that everyone would say it is to look for the front door.

confusing entryMany times a home is laid out in such as way that it makes the entry approach questionable to find.  If we use lighting design as a reference, then our first goal is to ensure that pedestrian traffic flow is directed to this final destination point.  The front door needs to be a primary focal point, if this is where you want your guests to go.

NiteLiters, Inc. believes that this route should not only be safe and inviting, but should be easily understood, too.  This will be our focus topic in this article.


Key Points to Lighting the Door and Entry

There are two key points for illuminating the front door and this entry/exit point:  1) to provide a higher level of illumination versus any surrounding light, and 2) to ensure ones safety when moving into and through this area.

harsh glareLight glare will be the biggest challenge within this lighting zone.  In addition, this area can become a safety hazard if improperly lit.  This includes changes in elevation, such as steps and stairs.  Every home will have at least one step-up into its interior.  Any ‘good’ lighting design will provide the proper lighting to avoid these concerns.

Outdoor lighting is an effective tool in directing movement.  Invited guests should never be confused as to where to go during their visit.  Confusion equates to “discomfort” and this in turn makes the visit less than positive.  Proper illumination will avoid these issues.

The following bullet points are listed for proper landscape lighting of these areas:

  • A strongly lit front door or destination point (this is the focal point)
  • No harsh glare concerns with the placement of any light fixtures
  • Gentle illumination throughout this zone
  • No danger spots or unlit steps


“Confusion equates to discomfort.  Proper lighting will enhance one’s comfort level and experience when visiting a property.”

Testimonial Story

We receive quite a few personalized letters from our customers, each expressing something about our lighting systems and how their lives have changed for the better.  The following shares one, as it relates to their enhanced home entry:

“…We never realized how difficult it was for our guests to find our front door until one of our friends said something to us.  John and I began to question this and they were right. 

As I am sure you can remember, our front door is off to the far side of the property, due to the unique floor plan we have.  We have two gates that lead into the back and side yard, so naturally everyone goes to the back yard gate thinking this is where to enter the house.

After your company finished its work in the front, your lighting made a world of difference.  We no longer have to worry about people wandering around through the back yard.

Your work is amazing and we thank you.”

            Karen & Steve, Owensboro, KY

 Details & Tips

In order to create a comfortable space, there needs to be a gentle lower level of light throughout the area.  This is a common problem seen with many lighting designs—not enough light used to provide for this.  Please understand this is not a sales tactic to sell more lights, because it’s a truthful fact.

At night, the eye is most attracted to the strongest contrast (darkness & brightness).  If the space has limited lighting, then the eye sees mostly darkness with a few sporadic “hot” or bright spots—it’s distracting and uncomfortable.  The only way to avoid this is by providing more light sources that are soft, to provide a smooth, transitional flow of illumination along this route.  This is much easier on the eye and it provides for a calm feeling.


“NiteLiters, Inc. utilizes various lighting applications to provide for effective transitional pedestrian flow”

door lit overheadTip #1:  Apply direct lighting on to the front door, but with the least amount of glare into the eyes of those passing through this opening.  This directive applies to those entering and exiting the home.

There are two ways to achieve this:  1) directly overhead of the door and slightly in front of its surface, and within the limits of <30-degrees off of the vertical axis, or 2) off to one or both sides of the door, aiming across the surface and using this same 30-degree limitation.

Note:  Overhead or down lighting is likely the best way to illuminate these pedestrian routes in order to avoid blinding glare issues.  Light fixtures aiming upwards from the ground level will definitely cause a glare problem and this occurs when exiting the home.  If this is your only option, then do so from the sides of the door and on more extreme angles to avoid contact with the eyes.

wantaentrygatewebTip #2:  Apply indirect lighting throughout this entry approach, so that it provides a smooth transition into this destination.  The goal is to provide comfort and to make it inviting.

Tip #3:  Ensure that the front door is a safe pass-through.  Provide for even illumination so that there are no ‘danger’ spots.  This includes uneven steps and/or access paths.  Safety is a priority.



NiteLiters, Inc. is extremely passionate about outdoor lighting and in providing proven solutions for all of our customers.  Our company is built on “service.”  This word and term is more than just that—it’s a way of life.  We expect to provide for you what we would expect to gain from another provider.  This is our commitment to you.

We have three goals in the NiteLiters, Inc. service program:

  1. To eliminate Problems
  2. To eliminate Fears
  3. To eliminate Concerns

This is a simple message and solution.  However, it eliminates the issues facing most consumers.  We will always be there for you—you are considered “family” once you allow us to serve your needs.

NiteLiters, Inc. is a proven industry leader in this specialized trade.  There is a distinct reason why we have so many wonderful referrals.  People “trust” us, because we don’t just talk-the-talk.  Our relationships have been built by our ability to provide peace-of-mind.

Call NiteLiters, Inc. Now!

There is no better time to enhance your living environment—we would love the opportunity to meet with you and to explore ideas.  One of our team specialists will eagerly set a date and time that best applies to your needs—please contact us at:

NiteLiters, Inc.


(270) 685-7070        Kentucky

(615) 674-9950      Tennessee

(812) 431-7250          Indiana

We serve most any outdoor lighting need within a 200-mile radius of Owensboro, KY, for both residential and commercial properties. This includes the beautiful state of Kentucky, southern Illinois and Indiana, and northern Tennessee.  We are a nationally recognized, award-winning company that is licensed, insured, and certified.

Published by

Mark Carlson

Exclusively serving the landscape lighting design profession since 1999, artistically as a designer-builder. My firm, Avalon Lighting Design is located in the Sacramento region of N. California. Avalon is a multi-award winning company that has performed nationally and internationally. My role is primarily that of an artist of landscape lighting design. Additional roles include consulting, specification writing, blogger/subject writer, and trade expert.

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